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What can I do if a car dealership sold me a bad car?

Albuquerque, NM |
Filed under: Lemon law Used cars

I bought a used car and immediately I had problems with the car they fixed it once when i was not under warranty anymore, only because it broke down on the way to the dealership and then I had issues again now they do not feel they have to pay for it. I have evidence that I emailed them about what was wrong with the car before the warranty was over. What I told them was wrong months ago ended up beign what they had to fix this last time. They do not answer my calls and are rude. What can I do legally?

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

It depends on your paperwork from the sale, in most states. In a used car sale in most states, your legal rights are mostly determined by the paperwork that you sign. If you get a warranty or guarantee then generally the terms of that warranty are all you have to look at to know what your rights are under it. But if your warranty expired before your problem arises, then you may or may not be stuck having to pay for the repair that occurs later. A couple of things can make the difference in many states. If the seller knew or should have known that the problem was there and didn’t tell you, then that may be fraud. If the problem was worked on before the warranty ran out and then arose again later, then the seller still has to fix it (they can’t work on it until the warranty expires and then say you are on your own because that shows they never really fixed it at all, which is what the warranty required them to do). If you never complained about the problem, but it was there all along and only arose after the warranty expired, then you will have to be able to show that the problem was there and the seller either knew or should have known about it and basically hid it from you. Another thing to look at, for your warranty rights, is the selling dealer’s “Buyers Guide” sticker that was required to be on the vehicle when you bought it. There’s a federal law that requires all car dealers to post on the window of all used cars they are selling a special “Buyer Guide” form (it’s often called a Used Car Window Sticker) that discloses whether or not a warranty comes with the car. Many small lot car dealers don’t comply with the law. If they don’t, then you may end up with a warranty after all and you may even have the right to cancel the sale. The back side of the form has to be completely filled out and many car lots, big and small, fail to do that too and that failure can also trigger your right to cancel the deal. You can see what the Buyer Guide form looks like on this web site page: http://ohiolemonlaw.com/used-car-lemon-law.html . You need to talk to a local Consumer Law attorney who deals with this kind of case (it's called "autofraud" or car sales fraud). Call your local attorney's Bar Association and ask for a referral to a Consumer Law attorney near you or you can go to this web site page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers (http://www.ohiolemonlaw.com/ocll-site/ocll-locate_local.shtml) and find one near you (lawyers don’t pay to get listed here and most of them are members of the only national association for Consumer Law lawyers, NACA.net). But act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to a Consumer Law attorney and finding out what your rights are. If this answer was helpful, please check the box below.

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7 comments

Asker

Posted

This information was extremely helpful. Thank you so much for taking interest in the consumer's interest. It's sad that good faith buyers are frauded every day by bad faith sellers.

Ronald Lee Burdge

Ronald Lee Burdge

Posted

Yeah, and those sellers are very well experienced car dealers who know the tricks of the trade

Asker

Posted

The car buyers guide was not on the window of either of the used vehicles that the dealership advertised for sale. They went into a file cabinet and found a buyers guide and brought it into a room and laid it on the table and asked me to sign on it. Also, I paid cash for the vehicle and was told to sign the title and they would be sending it in the mail. I had to call and inquire for the title because the temporary tag had expired or nearing expiration. At that time is when I was told that the bank had to release the lien on the vehicle. If I had known my rights then I would have asked for my money back due to the major defect that was already there when I purchased the vehicle. I finally received the title 2 months later and then I noticed they became much slow about correcting the redhibition problem. Now the dealer says it is their mechanics fault the car was not fixed and he is in jail for embezzlement and the mechanic's company say the dealer will not give them permission to do any more work. the dealer and the mechanic were friends and the company the mechanic worked for had him arrested and the dealer is upset with the company and the dealer is refusing to no longer send vehicles to the company. I have been stuck between their personal conflict and my car is just sitting. I have filed in the small claim court and have a expected trial date in December. Do i need an attorney. Louisiana has a Redhibition Law for used purchases.

Ronald Lee Burdge

Ronald Lee Burdge

Posted

you may not need an attorney in court but it would be good to talk to a local attorney and get solid advice on how the small claim court process works and how to use it best - good luck

Asker

Posted

Attorney Burdge, The judge who is sitting on my case is the same judge that denied the redhibition of a case in 2009. However the case was a appealed and she won and it has made history so to speak. The case is Rachelle Jefferson v La Car Mart .My case is almost identical to the case that this Judge sit on and denied. The lady found out 10 days after purchase that there was a major defect. I found out the same day within 5 miles of leaving the dealership and reported back to the dealer. The dealer did attempt to check out the complaint. The dealer I purchased the car from made several attempts to supposinglyy fix the problem. Her car was financed by the dealer and I paid cash plus a trade in which was worth more that the purchase according to KBB. The vehicle was worth only 2,000 and I paid 4,495.. So what mean is since this is the same judge should I be concerned about how he will rule this case. .

Ronald Lee Burdge

Ronald Lee Burdge

Posted

You should always be concerned about how a judge will decide your case. That's why you should prepare and prepare and prepare some more, get your witnesses and evidence together, if you don't know the law then work on the "moral" aspect of what is right is right (that's usually the law anyway), and talk to a local attorney - even if only to find out how the process is going to work when you show up in court, etc. Nothing is as helpful as talking to a local attorney or finding one to help or take over handling a legal dispute for you. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for the words of wisdom

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